Battle In The Streets of Bishop Part 1
Before the four adventurers, laid a dead troll. Stabbed by arrow and sword. Smashed with hammer. And finally burnt by dragon fire. It laid in the middle of the streets in the town of Bishop. A small, lumber town taken by surprise by the troll until they stepped in and slayed it. Once it laid there dead and unmoving, people once again began emerging from alleyways and nearby buildings. Mostly Dwarves with a few humans mixed in. There were some cheers and celebration at the sight of the dead troll.
“Smash!” Tak raised his warhammer into the air.
The townsfolk looked around confused at the sight of the Goliath man raising his hammer of war.
“Woah big guy, put the hammer down,” Sigthyme said.
Tak lowered the weapon.
“We won,” Tak grumbled.
“Yes we did, but we don’t want these nice people to think that you’re their enemy,” Sightyme said.
Juniper quickly stuffed Piakol into her bag.
“Let me out,” Piakol growled.
“Just stay in there for now, ok?” Juniper begged. “These people will attack us if we have a dragon.”
“I can take them.”
“These are not our enemies. Just relax, ok? It will be only for a minute.”
“Fine,” Piakol snarled and then curled up into a ball on top of a mound of coin.
Juniper looked up and noticed Riffen starring at her.
“Problem?” She asked him.
“That’s quite an…ally you have in your bag,” Riffen said.
“You’re not going to rat me out, are you,” Juniper asked but it sounded more like a threat than a question.
“No…no…” Riffen said.
Juniper’s eyes narrowed, but she believed him.
“Good,” Juniper said. “Because Piakol doesn’t like snitches.”
“That’s his name,” Juniper explained. “But I sometimes call him Pickle.
Juniper’s bag grumbled.
“Out of the way! Out of the way!” Voices shouted from the other side of the crowd.
Two gentleman approached the crowd of townsfolk. One was a Dwarven man with a well kept beard, heavy metal armor, and battleaxe. The other was a human man wearing similar, heavy metal armor and had a bow and a quiver of arrows strapped to his back.
Juniper spotted them first.
“Hey Riffen, those guys look like they shop at the same spot for clothes,” Juniper said.
“Oh crap, I need to hide,” Riffen said.
“Friends of yours?” Sigthyme asked.
Riffen looked down at the Halfling.
“You, you have magic, right? Please I’ll explain everything. Can you hide me?”
Sigthyme let out a sigh.
“Everyone has secrets,” Sigthyme said. “Yes, I can hide you. Stand still a moment.”
Sigthyme grabbed onto Riffen’s arm with one hand and waved his other hand. Purple energy shimmered in the air. He muttered some words underneath his breath and the purple energy flashed. Luckily the crowd was focused on the two approaching men that they didn’t notice Sigthyme using arcane magic or the fact that Riffen had disappeared.
“Woah,” Juniper’s eyes grew large.
“What? What?” Riffen looked down at himself and there was nothing there. He was invisible.
“Shut up, lover boy. Just stand there. Don’t say a thing,” Sigthyme said.
“Out of the way!” The two gentleman wandered through the crowd.
“Get back to your jobs. Nothing to see here,” The Dwarf yelled as the crowd began to disperse.
Juniper, Tak, Sigthyme, and an invisible Riffen turned to the two men in armor.
“You three,” The human pointed towards the group.
“Yes…yes?” Sigthyme took a step forward.
The Dwarf began to circle them and looked at the troll laying on the ground.
“Did you do this?” The human asked.
“If you mean did you kill the troll, then yes,” Juniper said.
“Where did it come from?”
“How are we supposed to know that?” Sigthyme asked.
“Yeah. We just killed it,” Juniper said.
The man didn’t look fully convinced but he turned towards the Dwarf.
“What do you think Horace?”
“Looks like a dead troll to me, Jacob,” Horace said. “Burn marks. Sword cuts. Nothing special.”
Jacob crossed his arms.
“Any idea where it came from?” Jacob asked Horace.
“Best I can tell, it looks like a forest troll. Could have came from anywhere in the Ollick,” Horace continued. “Has some old scars so it could have been wounded before walking into the town.”
“That must be why these three were able to take it down,” Jacob said.
“Hey!” Juniper took a step forward. “We’re quite capable fighters, ok?”
“Sure,” Jacob scoffed.
“And where were you during all of this?” Juniper asked.
“I…I was…” Jacob took a step back as he stumbled over his words.
“Puny man,” Tak said still holding his war hammer.
Jacob looked Tak up and down and then looked back at Juniper and Sigthyme. He scoffed and then turned his back on the group.
“Come on Horace. Let’s report this to the barracks,” Jacob said.
He began walking away.
Horace finished poking at the troll corpse and started walking away.
“If you three want to stop by the barracks, I’m sure there’s some award for killing this troll. You did save the town. Just tell them Horace checked it out and approved. Jacob and I should be there,” Horace said as he caught up with Jacob.
“That Jacob fellow was a jerk,” Juniper said.
“They are members of the Soulan army,” Riffen said from the void.
Juniper jumped a bit and clutched his chest.
“I forgot you were there.”
“Thanks,” Riffen muttered.
“Is there a reason why the army people had similar armor to you?” Sigthyme asked Riffen.
“Yeah, why is it you hid from them?” Juniper asked.
“Let’s go back to the Nick-Nack Inn and we can talk about stuff,” Riffen said. “Including the fact that someone has a dragon in her bag.”
Juniper shuffled a little bit.
“Yeah I need to go check on Grace,” Juniper said.
All four of them made it back to the inn and Grace was standing in the doorway.
“You all made it back,” Grace said still holding her dagger out. “Well most of you.”
“Oh yeah,” Sigthyme said.
He snapped his fingers and Riffen reappeared.
“Holy crap,” Grace jumped back.
Riffen looked down at himself.
“Thank you again, ummmm…”
“Tak calls me Siggy,” Sigthyme said.
“Thank you Sigthyme,” Riffen said.
Sigthyme, Tak, Riffen, Juniper, and Grace all found a table in the back of the inn. The bar area was completely empty at this time. The town of Bishop was now back to normal and the workers were not back from their jobs. Liz was in the back of the kitchen.
“So we’re local town heroes,” Sigthyme said.
“Yeah I guess we work pretty well together,” Riffen said.
“But we all have our own things to do,” Juniper said.
“I feel like we’ve all mentioned Xylon,” Sigthyme said. “Maybe we can all head there together.”
“But Grace needs to go to Frost Haven,” Juniper said.
“I’m not going to Frost Haven,” Riffen spoke quickly.
“Any reason why?” Juniper asked.
“That’s not really any of your concern,” Riffen said.
“We all have things we’re hiding, obviously,” Sigthyme said. “But I still think our best plan is to go together to Xylon.”
“Fight together,” Tak smiled.
“I was thinking that I would come with you all,” Grace spoke up.
“But what about Frost Haven?” Juniper asked.
“I do need to go there, but I don’t feel safe going with some stranger. Plus I’ve been to Xylon, so maybe I could be helpful,” Grace explained.
“It would help to have some kind of guide,” Sigthyme said.
“I guess that’s decided,” Riffen said.
“Now let’s talk about why Riffen was hiding from the army men,” Juniper said. “Are you some criminal or something?”
“No I’m not a criminal,” Riffen said offended. “I…I… I’m from Frost Haven, ok? And I thought the Soulon army personnel might recognize me. That’s all. I didn’t want to be bothered by that.”
Sigthyme spoke up.
“You know, criminals aren’t the worse thing to have around,” He said.
Grace looked down at her lap.
“I’m not a criminal,” Riffen persisted.
“Fine, fine,” Sigthyme raised his hands.
“What about you?” Riffen pointed towards Juniper. “Why do you have a dragon hiding in your bag.”
“Dude! Use your inside voice,” Juniper glared at him. “Pickle is my friend and companion. I met him when I was a child and we’ve been working together ever since.”
“Dragon companion. Impressive,” Sigthyme muttered.
“Also, he helped us fight that troll, Juniper said. “If you have a problem with him, then maybe you should leave the group.”
Everyone fell silent and turned towards Riffen.
Riffen let out a sigh.
“No. It’s fine. But if he sets my stuff on fire, I’m going to put it down.”
“Yeah good luck with that.”
“I’ve seen his fire up close,” Grace chimed in. “He’s good in a fight.”
“Well I’m glad we got that out of the way,” Sigthyme said.
“What about you, Sigthyme? Why are you heading to Xylon?” Grace asked.
“Me? I’m just a simple musician looking for a bit of adventure. A bit of gold,” Sigthyme smiled. “Plus my friend, Tak, is looking to take on powerful foes and monsters.”
“Smash!” Tak yelled.
“Right,” Grace laughed uneasily.
“Well you know I’m heading to Xylon to find Lillian,” Riffen said. “What about you, Juniper?”
Juniper glared at Riffen.
“I’m also looking for someone. They might be heading towards Xylon.”
“A boyfriend?” Sigthyme asked.
“My brother,” Juniper said. “He’s…gotten himself into some trouble. I plan on bringing him back home to Perralyth.”
“What kind of trouble?” Sightyme asked.
“I’m not exactly sure,” Juniper said letting her anger fizzle.
Riffen also let his guard down a little.
“I hope we find him,” Riffen said with sincerity.
“Thanks, me too. And I hope you find Lillian,” Juniper replied.
“Well now we’ve laid out some things on the table, I guess we’re a real group now.” Riffen said. “We should probably head out soon.”
“Wait, we still need supplies,” Juniper said.
“Yeah and Horace said we could probably get some money for killing that troll,” Sigthyme said.
“Fine. I’ll head to the stable to get my horse and my stuff. You four head to the barracks on the end of town, pick up our reward, buy some supplies, and then meet me at the edge of the Ollick Forest,” Riffen said.
“Sure,” Sigthyme said.
The group dispersed as Riffen went towards the stable and the rest went towards the army barracks.
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Header Photo Credit to Nerdarchy’s article on Hill Dwarf Fighter NPCs